The Malaysian Experience in Home Schooling
Y.Rajamony, Ebinezar John (2008) The Malaysian Experience in Home Schooling. PhD thesis, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Home schooling is the practice of teaching school aged children at home by parents or guardians using a selected curriculum. This alternative form of education is being practiced by a growing number of families in Malaysia. As such, the Ministry of Education has given the green light for intending parents who wish to home school their children to do so with prior permission from the Ministry. Local parents home school for varied reasons. This study was undertaken to explore the reasons why parents home school their children. A qualitative case study approach was used to study five families that home school their children. A semi-structured in-depth interview was conducted to gather the responses from the parents and the home schooled children. It was then analyzed for themes while concurrently answering the research question why parents left mainstream schooling and opted for home schooling. Besides relying on in-depth interviews, pupils’ notes, exercises, inventions, art work, certificates, letters and reports were also used for the analysis. Non-participant observations were also used to increase validity and reliability of the findings. The results were analyzed and the following findings emerged. Parents left mainstream schooling because of an inadequate curriculum, incompetent teachers, poor social interactions, an adverse school environment and conflicting values. Conversely, home schooling offered better education, catered for individual needs and family lifestyles and helped foster good values in a positive social environment. The home schooled children reported enjoying the flexibility of learning at home and at their own pace. Some wished they had more friends. Finally, local home schooling parents adapted well in the prevailing circumstances. As the education authorities neither monitored nor extended any needed help to home schooling parents, parents had to be innovative and adopt ways to find the needed resources and facilities. They ensured that their children had ample social interactions in a multicultural setting. The findings are consistent with current literature on home schooling overseas. However, the study goes further in forming the base data about why and how local parents home school their children.
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